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Looking Through a Soldier's Eyes

Renamed Chapters of All Quiet . . .
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Renaming the Chapters of All Quiet . . .

 

If I had to rename the chapters of All Quiet on the Western Front, this is what I would name them:

 

Ch. 1 – Iron Youth

Ch. 2 – The Tragedy of Kemmerich

Ch. 3 – Himmelstoss’ Humiliation

Ch. 4 – Dead Protecting from Death

Ch. 5 – Himmelstoss’ Return

Ch. 6 – Life by Chance

Ch. 7 – Alienation

Ch. 8 – Runaway Thoughts

Ch. 9 – The Unknowing Frenchman

Ch. 10 – Catholic Hospital

Ch. 11 – Impatience with War

Ch. 12 – Hope for a Better Tomorrow

Epilogue – All Quiet on the Western Front

 

I picked “Iron Youth” as the title for the first chapter because in it (the chapter), Paul and his friends discuss what they learned while in training. One of the things they were taught is that they were Iron Youth and would lead their great nation to victory.

For Chapter 2, I chose “The Tragedy of Kemmerich” as my title because the whole chapter talks about the misfortune of Paul’s friends and comrades. However, Kemmerich is mainly talked about.

In Chapter 3, the men hear that a certain Corporal is coming to the front for inflicting too harsh a punishment on some privates. This same Corporal tortured Tjaden during those days. The men recount an act they did that took place. “Revenge is black pudding” as the men say.

Chapter 4 talks a lot about life on the front. Towards the end of the chapter, the men are involved in a fight that takes place near/in a graveyard. The men end up using the dead, already buried, to protect themselves from death. Ironic . . . yes.

I renamed Chapter 5 “Himmelstoss’ Return” because this is when Himmelstoss actually comes to the front and Paul and his friend confront him again.

In Chapter 6, a couple lines really hit me hard. It being: “It is just as much a matter of chance that I am still alive as that I might have been hit. I a bomb-proof dug-out I may be smashed to atoms and in the open may survive ten hours’ bombardment unscathed. No soldier outlives a thousand chances. But every soldier believes in Chance and trusts his luck.” (pg. 101) I would be a believer too.

In Chapter 7, Paul is granted leave to go home. When he goes home he realizes how much the war has changed him and his perspective of life. He also realizes that all the years spent in a classroom are of no use to him on the front. He also realizes how clueless civilians are to what is going on in the war. He understands that no one at home will ever understand what he has been through or will go through in the months to come. He understands “Alienation”.

Chapter 8 deals a lot with Paul’s thoughts after returning home. The whole chapter he tries and tries to suppress them so that he can stay sane. Hence, the “Runaway Thoughts”.

During Chapter 9, a poor unsuspecting Frenchman jumps into Paul’s shell hole. Paul doesn’t want to be killed himself, so he stabs the Frenchman out of fear. Paul then has to go through the scrutiny of watching the Frenchman die a slow, painful death. Paul is just about mad as he crawls out to find his friends. Thus, the “Unknowing Frenchman” dies innocently.

I picked the title “Catholic Hospital” for Chapter 10 because Paul is hurt and is sent to a Catholic Hospital with Albert Kropp. There they learn the dealings of the hospital and what goes on. While Paul heals, Kropp’s leg is amputated and he does not do so well. Paul returns to the front, never knowing if he will see his dear friend Kropp again.

In Chapter 11, all the men are growing restless and are sick of war. They just want the armistice to come and it to be over and done with. All of them know they are loosing the war, and have “Impatience with War”.          

Paul talks of his hopes and plans for the future once the war is done in Chapter 12. He has “Hope for a Better Tomorrow” and wants the horrible war to end.

The Epilogue tells of one thing: Paul’s death. And apparently all that is mentioned in the journals of the military on the day that Paul died is “All Quiet on the Western Front”.